STUDENTS at Echuca East Primary had the surprise of their life last week when Australian Diamond Caitlyn Nevins ran in.
Nevins, an Echuca girl herself, saw mentoring netball players as the greatest opportunity to help young girls and teach them life lessons.
‘‘It is always a great opportunity to come home, but also to pass on my wisdom to younger girls,’’ she said.
Last week, using technology, including video calling, livestreaming and 360 video, Caitlyn ran a virtual training session from Queensland to help give back to her home town.
‘‘It is important to connect with the next generation and I need to say thanks to Telstra for allowing that to happen,’’ Caitlyn said.
‘‘Echuca was an important part of my playing career and I like to be able to give back and the technology is allowing me to do that.
She spoke about how it took a long time for her to reach her goals, especially after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at 20 years of age.
‘‘I was tipped to play for the Melbourne Vixens, but because of my injury I was on the sidelines,’’ she said to the girls.
‘‘Which meant that someone else got the opportunity, but that didn’t stop mine.
‘‘I got the opportunity to move to Brisbane and play for the Firebirds.’’
Her biggest piece of advice was to take every opportunity.
But the surprises didn’t stop there.
This time it was Nevins who was suprised.
A group of 11 students walked out of the classroom each wearing a dress she played in, from her Echuca United days to her current Australia dress.
Student, Tahliah Giri was star struck when she saw the Diamonds wing attack.
‘‘It was very nerve wracking, but so much fun,’’ she said.
‘‘It is such a fantastic opportunity and I just want to say thank-you to Caitlyn for coming down for this phenomenal experience.’’